At 2:30 one morning this past summer, after I had got off work, I paid a visit to a nearby McDonald's. I often went to this particular McDonald's after close in order to go out drinking with my friends, the crew.

Standing outside by my parked car, I waited for someone inside to notice me. This patience was soon rewarded, Jeff, the maintenance man left the building and began to walk toward me. I grinned and started to greet him, but he interrupted.

"I have some bad news, Jebby and Bill were looking for some other crewpeople when their car was hit by a drunk driver."

Time stopped. Unable to react I collapsed against my own car. I thought of Jebby and Bill, whom I had worked and been friends with for almost two years. I pictured them in my mind - Jebby, the foreigner, with his naturally dark skin, and Bill with the scar on his forehead from his last car accident. Both of them were inside of my head - just grinning at me.

The police had informed Jeff that Jebby and Bill were being treated at St. John's Hospital. Immediately I headed there. En route I realized I was passing the almost cleared sight of the accident. Stopping, I parked in a nearby lot and got out of my station wagon. It was then I saw a large heap of metal that lay like a broken, discarded toy on a curb of that intersection.

Nauseated, I ran to it. A sprinkler was in my path, but my terrified mind took no notice, I just kept running - straight to the ruin that lay upon that curb. I had to see that utterly destroyed vehicle and know what had happened to my friends. I stood just a few feet from that mangled wreckage and thought that here was the vehicle in which I had celebrated my best friend's birthday, the vehicle in which I had so often avoided the police, the vehicle in which I had last seen Jebby Tommy and Bill Marlett.

It had been less than forty-eight hours since I had last seen my two friends. We had sat in this very car, this car that was now twisted in an almost obscene fashion about a telephone pole and had sung along to Lisa Lisa's hit "Head to Toe" while sharing a single beer. It had been a fun night.

When I arrived at the hospital I met some co-workers and discovered that Jebby was okay, although he wasn't there. No one knew anything about Bill. Our little group of McDonald's employees sat and frantically phoned almost every hospital in the state but no one knew anything about Bill.

We regrouped at McDonald's. Shibu Thomas, the assistant manager, called Bill's house.

I stood in the drive-thru thinking as Bu spoke on the phone.

"Hello, Becky?" he began. Becky was Bill's sister.

I marvelled at the fact that anything could have escaped the twisted heap that was now Jebby's car.

"Becky, stop crying."

I shivered as I remembered that Bill wasn't even a full year older than I was.

"Becky, I said to stop crying."

God only knows how many times I'd ridden with Jebby in that car.

"Becky, what happened to Bill?"

Instead of Bill, I could have been in that car.

"WHAT happened to Bill?"

I thought of that wrecked vehicle and suddenly realized that we are all only mortal, creatures of flesh and blood. No one is immune to sadness, to harm, to loss.

Shibu dropped the phone.

"Head to Toe," as performed by Jebby Tommy, Bill Marlett and Therese S______ began to run through my head.

In a voice devoid of all emotion and feeling, Bu quietly said "Oh my God."

No one needed to be told what had happened to Bill.

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